Police 'overreached' in arrest of N.S. man accused in breach of website: experts

Internet law experts are questioning the arrest of a 19-year-old Halifax man for an alleged breach of a provincial website after the youth came forward to say he believed he was downloading public information.

On Monday, CBC quoted the young man saying he had no malicious intent when he retrieved 7,000 documents from the government's freedom-of-information internet portal.

The 19-year-old, whose name CBC did not publish, also said there were 15 police officers involved in a raid on his house on April 11, and his family members said it was a frightening experience.

Michael Geist, a University of Ottawa law professor who specializes in internet law, says it could be a case of police ``overreach'' because it appears the province designed a website that could be accessed by anyone with basic computer skills.

David Fraser, a Halifax privacy lawyer, said ``it seems like the Crown will have a very difficult time proving fraudulent intent.''

A spokeswoman for Halifax police said if anyone is concerned with the way police have handled a case they can file a complaint under the Nova Scotia Police Act.